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Print of the Month - September 2012

Published by Kronheim & Co. using the Baxter Process this is one of the finest prints published by Kronheim. Size 11 ½ x 14 inches approx.

It portrays the village schoolmaster as immortalised in the poem “The Village Schoolmaster” which was written as a sketch in the "Deserted Village" by Oliver Goldsmith in 1770. Goldsmith is probably best remembered for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield.

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The days disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he:
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd:
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declar'd how much he knew;
'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too:
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e'en the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill,
For e'en though vanquish'd he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thund'ring sound
Amazed the gazing rustics rang'd around;
And still they gaz'd and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
But past is all his fame. The very spot
Where many a time he triumph'd is forgot.

Kronheim & Co. were colour printers from the 1850s until about 20 years into the 20th century. They produced a wide variety of work from the cheapest productions to fine work using a variety of processes and were by far the most prolific of George Baxter’s licensees.